From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
THE Presidency has responded to The Telegraph of London editorial, which alleged that the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was using United Kingdom aid for insurgency fight to persecute the President’s perceived enemies. It described the editorial as “factual inaccuracies” that betrays a shocking ignorance of Nigeria and the country’s ongoing war against terrorism.
Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said in a statement it was even more shocking that the author of the editorial failed to realise that the arms deal probe was actually to unravel how the said $2.1 billion was spent by the immediate past administration, in which already some officials have been indicted.
The Presidency accused the author, Con Coughlin of failing to contact the Nigerian government for its own side of the story, but concentrated in only those opinions which suited and reinforced what it called “his disgracefully false headline”.
The Presidency denied Coughlin’s allegation that Buhari’s government attempted to cover-up the abductions of 400 women and children “abducted last year by militants from the Nigerian town of Damasak.”
It said the Damasak abductions happened in 2014 way before Buhari came into power and not last year as errornously refered to by the author. It further ridicled the author of the editorial by pointing out that President Buhari came to power on May 29, 2015, not July, as Coughlin reported. The piece is not only full of factual inaccuracies, it also betrays a shocking ignorance of Nigeria and the country’s ongoing war against terrorism.
Mr Coughlin’s editorial tactic is to quote unnamed “senior officials” and “Western diplomats” and “Western officials” and “political opponents” making fact-free and unfounded statements. It also appears that he sought out only those opinions which suited and reinforced his disgracefully false headline. Nowhere in the piece is there anything that suggests he attempted to contact the Nigerian government for its own side of the story.